Nightly News   |  November 21, 2013

Highlights from the Kennedys’ journey to Dallas

Fifty years ago President John F. Kennedy and the First Lady Jackie Kennedy boarded Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base en route to Texas. It was an especially significant trip for the First Lady, and involved several stops prior to their arrival in Dallas. NBC’s Brian Williams reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally here tonight, the eve of tomorrow's 50th anniversary of the assassination of john f. kennedy . few people remember the president's trip to texas started 50 years ago today. it was a political trip, four stops and the president brought along a shining star . 50 years ago today, the president and first lady boarded air force i at andrews air force base for the flight west to texas . and it was a significant trip for jackie kennedy because of the death of their infant son patrick just months earlier. and so upon arrival in texas and san antonio and again in houston, mrs. kennedy received much of the attention.

>> the first lady of our land, mrs. john f. kennedy . [ applause ]

>> at their third texas stop in ft. worth, even though it was late and it was raining, people lined the streets to see them. the kennedys spent their last night together at the hotel texas . the next morning, november 22nd , the president emerged to greet a crowd of 5,000 gathered outside.

>> i appreciate you being here this morning. mrs. kennedy is organizing herself, takes longer. but, of course, she looks better than we do.

>> and when she appeared, mrs. kennedy made a stunning entrance wearing the now famous pink chanel suit , white gloves and pillbox hat .

>> i introduced myself by saying i was the man who accompanied mrs. kennedy to paris. i'm getting some of that same sensation as i travel around texas . nobody wonders what lyndon and i wear.

>> president kennedy almost never wore hats. in fact, the hat industry complained he was turning other men against them. but that day he was given a stetson.

>> we couldn't let you leave texas without some protection against the rain. [ applause ]

>> i'll put it on in the white house on monday. if you come up there, you'll have a chance to see it then.

>> that last flight from ft. worth to neighboring dallas took just 13 minutes, and the first couple emerged into bright sunshine. the crowds were big and the president and first lady headed over to the fence line to shake as many hands as possible. from there it was into an open car. and his drive into downtown dallas where, sadly, history was waiting just 10 miles away. that stetson hat the president was given that day is in the jfk in boston along with that speech in dallas he was never able to deliver. we'll come on the air live with a moment of silence marking the assassination 50 years ago. that will be at 1:28 p.m . eastern time on most of these nbc stations.